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Weapons - the shield

60 second histories

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A description of a scutum and explains how it was made of wood, reinforced for strength and decorated with the emblem of their legion.

This is a Roman army shield; it’s called a scutum. It’s made of layers of wood glued together, the bulge here is called a boss, it protects your hand inside but it can also be used to punch your enemy. The edge of the scutum is protected by a metal strip which helps to keep it all together. On the inside there’s a handle but there was also a leather carrying strap so you could put it on your back when marching. As you can see the scutum is curved in shape to give you maximum protection as it curves around your body. They had a leather cover to protect them when being carried on the march. The back of the scutum is as you can see reinforced with wood strips for added strength. The front of the shields were decorated with the emblem or design of your particular legion. This design here is for the second legion Augustus. Can you imagine a legion of five thousand men coming towards you with their scuta all decorated the same, what a sight it would make. Terrifying! And that’s what they were meant to do, terrify the enemy.
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Key words: 
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